Winter always seems to bring with it a lot of moody sadness. Seattle never brought me so low, never mind the incessant grey skies and the misting rain. Here I am in an extremely temperate Northern California, and the dying season hits me like fresh grief every time.
Yet now the weather has shifted from forty degrees to eighty, in a span of just two weeks. People are digging past their heavy sweaters and pulling on shorts and even tank tops. There are kids on bikes and babies in the swings, all playing at the community park. There are young lovers holding hands and old couples walking tiny dogs as they stretch their legs in the warm sunshine.
It’s time to let go of the wet and weary winter doldrums and embrace the coming of spring.
What better way to begin than with a little love and chocolate?
It was as if Fate decided to create the perfect cupcake, and thus Divine Inspiration was beamed down to Chef Nena to craft the amazing confection pictured above.
I, of course, was at work while this holy communion combining the divine trinity of chocolate, cream cheese, and coffee porter was conceived.
This luscious perfection was only available at the legendary Sacramento eatery Bacon & Butter. Lover and I have been there a few times; the line is always very long, and the food is always worth the wait.
However, Bacon & Butter closes at 3 p.m. during the week, whereas I usually work until 5 or later, depending on my project schedules.
Like a small child on the verge of a tantrum, I texted my sweetheart to rail against the bitter laws of Fate that this temptation was impossibly out of reach.
And then ten minutes later Life happened, and I forgot all about it.
At long last, Friday arrived but like the belated buzzer that rings the end of a brutal boxing match seconds too late to save one contender from being knocked out cold.
(That would be me.)
Blame it on Daylight Savings Time or a return to my regime at the gym, but I felt hollow and distracted all day today, as if I never really left my bed this morning. My mind wandered far, far away, leaving my body tethered to my desk and operating on autopilot.
Finally, five o’clock on the dot.
I strolled through the company parking lot, to my car, into traffic.
Twenty minutes later I safely parked my Volkswagen Beetle in the driveway, taking a deep breath and thankful, as always, that I made it home in one piece. Walking through the door I dropped my keys on the small bookshelf stationed near an old map of the United States and turned into the kitchen for a snack.
Or a drink.
A bright square of color immediately caught my eye. Like a yellow butterfly, a Post-It fluttered and waved to me from the shiny chrome bezel of the microwave. It read: Come a little closer.
I couldn’t help it; I smiled, thinking, What were you doing here? Lover has a key to my place for emergencies, and sometimes he comes over to feed the cats when I work very late. None of which applied today.
I opened the microwave.
And there it was.
There was another note, attached to the pastry box: I thought you might need a little something to start celebrating the weekend. Happy Friday!
The perfect cupcake! It was mine, all mine, and hand-delivered no less.
Sometimes I waffle about what we have, who we are to each other, and what the future might hold. This was a lovely reminder to live in the present, and that all I really need right now is love and chocolate.